Apostle Paul’s main focus in Romans 12 is the spiritual gifts or “charisma.” Connecting this chapter with 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4, he emphasizes how Christians, each bestowed with unique spiritual gifts, are urged to live in accordance with these gifts, forming a cohesive body in Christ.
The concept of “members” within the church, drawing from 1 Corinthians 12:14-20 illustrates the diversity of roles and ministries among believers. These roles, understood as gifts from God, encompass various offices, broadly categorized into apostles, prophets, teachers and deacons.
Despite these diverse roles, Paul stresses the unity within the body of Christ, emphasizing the oneness of God, the Lord the Holy Spirit. “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ” (1 Cor 12:12). This unity prevails despite the diversity of gifts and ministries among believers, as highlighted in verses like 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 and Ephesians 4:5-6.
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us,” (Romans 12:12) highlights the differentiation of gifts among individuals, urging diligence in the execution of these gifts according to the grace given. Specific exhortations were provided for those with various gifts: for instance, the guidance for those with the gift of prophecy to align their actions with faith.
Romans 12:7-8 shows the manner in which individuals should engage with their respective gifts—serving, teaching, exhorting, contributing, leading and showing mercy—with dedication and passion. This aligns with the organizational structure delineated in 1 Corinthians 12, facilitating a clearer understanding of these roles.
We must remember that there is a calling toward us to embody genuine love, rejecting evil while upholding goodness.
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality” (Romans 12:9-13).
Its focus is on “contributing to the needs of the saints and practicing hospitality.” It’s imperative to adequately support the requirements of fellow believers and extend genuine hospitality. Living a life devoted to serving allows us to nurture a robust community of Christ, which is the essence of the church.
Beyond that, in the context of cosmic Christology, this expansive community represents the worldwide body of Christ, the Christendom of the world. Secular Christology, on the other hand, envisions a world where mutual service and love are prevalent. Until that vision materializes, let’s commit ourselves to supporting fellow believers and showing hospitality.